BLM fuelwood permits for Taos area on sale

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The Bureau of Land Management began selling fuelwood permits for personal use May 1.

The cost of the fuelwood permit is $12 per cord, according to the BLM Taos Field Office. Each person can buy a minimum of one cord and a maximum of eight.

Fuelwood permits are only valid for cutting dead-and-down or dead-and-standing piñón and juniper (cedar). Cutting green trees or other trees not mentioned is strictly prohibited.

BLM fuelwood permits are valid for 30 days. Permit sales will end Dec. 29.

Permits can be purchased with cash, check or credit and debit cards at the Taos Field Office, 226 Cruz Alta Road in Taos. The BLM cannot accept $100 bills.

Maps of open woodcutting areas, along with all rules concerning fuelwood collection, will be available at the time of purchase. Maps for fuelwood areas can also be found at blm.gov/maps/frequently-requested/new-mexico.

The following BLM public lands are closed to fuelwood cutting to protect sensitive resources, such as endangered species: San Antonio Wilderness Study Area, Río Chama WSA, Guadalupe Mountain, Ojo Caliente Wilderness Character Area, Río Grande Gorge, Ute Mountain, Orilla Verde Recreation Area, La Cienguilla/La Cienega Area of Critical Environmental Concern, Wild Rivers Recreation Area, Río Grande Wild and Scenic River Corridor, Taos Valley Overlook, Río Chama Wild & Scenic River Corridor and Santa Cruz Lake.

Penalties for cutting or removing wood from BLM lands without a valid fuelwood permit can be more than $300. Fines for cutting green trees start at $300, with a $50 fine for each additional tree. At the discretion of a BLM law enforcement officer, illegally cut fuelwood and any equipment used, such as chainsaws, trailers and even vehicles, can be confiscated from illegal woodcutters.

For more information, contact BLM forester Elyssa Duran at (575) 758-8851.

-- Staff report

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